Friday most Fowl!

Copyright ©2019 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I was sitting on the patio with a tasty glass of rosé ( Chateau de Beaupré) the other evening thinking about posting some recent bird sightings when this new title/ category popped into my head so, here is its debut; Friday most Fowl!

Sunday morning I was up early as I am wont to be and it was lovely out so, I opened the patio door and heard the sweet melodious sounds of a chorus of birds. I did what any birder does: I quickly grabbed my camera, snatched my freshly brewed cup-a-tea and headed to the patio. Of course the instant they heard me open the sliding screen door they flew into the far bushes and trees to hide.  That was okay. I knew they’d back…this is home.

I settled in and was quiet…camera ready…letting my tea get cold. Oh, the sacrifices we make to get an image!

First back was the Female Rufous Hummingbird…a lifer for me!

Rufus Hummingbird-Female

…then the Songbirds returned,

Female Finch

a Tern made a pass over, I think it’s a Foster’s Tern?

Tern

Then Mr. Quail thought the coast was clear and hopped up on the bottom of the fence to be sure.

Male California Quail

He looked me over real good. Then decide the oldest of his brood could come up for a little look-see.  Last time I counted there were 6 little ones in his brood.

California Quail Juveniles

Then I had the biggest surprise I’ve had in birding in a long, long time.  A Male Northern Flicker landed on my fence! A Northern Flicker! Right there less than 20 feet from me!! WOW!!

Northern Flicker-Male

It only stayed a minute, but what a minute!! Of course, all the other little birds flew away, but I didn’t care just then. 😁

It was a pretty great birdy morning on my patio Sunday morning don’t you think?

He-Man was away on business most the week so I took a couple of days in the middle of that and went to Baby Girl’s to visit the Grandson’s and be there for #1’s first day of First Grade. He’s so stoked. His best friend is in his class and he likes his teacher.  A great first day!

I’ll be catching up with your posts over the next few days.  I hope you all have a wonderful week-end and Happy Friday!

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm| Lexar Digital Film| PS CC 2019

more to come…

 

 

 

 

 

Whatever Weds. This and That

Copyright © 2019 Deborah M. Zajac.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I thought I’d share several images I’ve made in the last few weeks and have been working on to share.

Golden Hour over the 13th Fairway, the Eastern Sierras, and the marsh as seen looking southwest from my patio.

Golden Hour on the Eastern Sierras and Neighborhood

A new bird for me! A Rough-winged Swallow with lunch.  If I have not made the correct ID for this one please let me know!

Roughed-winged Swallow with Lunch

Last Friday a friend came up for a Doctor’s appointment and spent the night, but after her appointment, we went out exploring my area looking for some Nevada Wild Mustangs; we had Lady Luck with us b/c we found a small band!  Doing a little research we discovered that this  Black/Blue Stallion is called Zorro.

Zorro

Here’s one of Zorro’s band members with some Hitchhikers.

Wild Mustang with Birds out for a ride

I’m looking forward to getting to know the Wild Mustangs of Nevada and this band.

To close out this week’s post I’ll share a sunset from last week. This was made while I was on my patio.

Sunset from my Patio

 

I hope you’re all having a great week so far, and as they say out here in the Valley, let’s get our Hump Day Dance on and bump those hips! 😂

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm and Nikkor 50mm| Lexar and Hoodman Digital Film| PS CC 2019

more to come…

Whatever Weds.

Copyright ©2019 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

We’re settling into our new home. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel of boxes!

Sunday I went out with a local birding expert and guide for a morning of birding.

It was so much fun and a great birdy day with so many bird highlights. We saw a pair Great-horned Owls, some Owlets, a Barn Owl, Bald Eagles, lots of Red-wing Blackbirds, Yellow-headed Blackbirds, sparrows, Turkey Vultures, and a pilot practicing aerial loops, swoops, and dives!

I’ll share just two images today though.

A pair of Kestrels in a tree with breakfast. I didn’t notice the prey until I uploaded my images.  I’ve never seen a pair together before so this was a real treat for me.

American Kestrel Pair with Prey

and from my backyard, there are flocks of Yellow-headed Blackbirds enjoying the trees and my feeder.  I never saw these in Silicon Valley. I love their vivid heads and lovely white pattern on their wings.  I’m not sure if these are year-round birds or just spending Spring here. I’ll soon find out!

Yellow-headed Blackbirds

Yesterday the cabinets for the laundry room arrived so the contractor is going to open those boxes up and see what we got. I have to select and order my counter top still, and I think he’s going to paint He-Man’s closet. He textured the new framing for it yesterday.  I’ve been taking photos of the project at each step. I’ll share those later.

I hope your week has been going well and continues to go well through the week-end!

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6 top image and 300mm f/4 bottom image| Hoodman Steel Digital Film| PS CC 2019

more to come…

 

 

 

 

Wild Weds. 49/52 Song Sparrow

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Song Sparrow…I think. Its song was pretty on this morning in June.

Sing a Song!

 

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm| PS CC 2019

more to come…

Wild Wednesday 33/52 Snowy Plovers

Copyright © 2018 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

While at the beach a couple weeks ago to photograph the Moon we came across a protected area where we discovered Snowy Plovers nesting.

They’re a small shorebird found on beaches, and barren ground all across North American Gulf and Pacific coasts and here and there in California, Texas, and Saskatchewan inland areas. They are also found in South America, and Eurasia.

Snowy Plover

Neat facts from allaboutbirds.org:

The Snowy Plover will many time raise two broods a year, and sometimes three in places where the breeding season is long.  The female deserts her mate and brood about the time the chicks hatch and initiates a new breeding with a different male.

Snowy Plover in Nest

Young Snowy Plovers leave their nest within three hours of hatching! They flatten themselves on the ground when a parent signal the approach of people or possible predators.  They walk, run, and swim well and forage unaided by parents, but need periodic brooding for many days after hatching.

The oldest recorded Snowy Plover was at least 15 years, 2 months old when it was spotted in the wild in California and identified by its band. ~allaboutbirds.org

This one was really close to the edge of the protected nesting area which was great. It gave us really great looks, and photo ops.

Snowy Plover

Sadly, the Snowy Plover population is listed as Near Threatened as their numbers are in decline.  It’s believed their habitat is in decline due to habitat alteration, and increased recreational use of beaches.

I was happy to see this section roped/taped off, and no one breached the barrier while I was there so, it looks like people are respecting them, and the rules to stay out of the area while they’re nesting. I hope that bodes well for a successful breeding season for these cute little shorebirds.

I hope your week is going well, and you all have a lovely week-end!

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm @500mm| Lexar Digital Film| PS CC 2018

more to come…

 

 

Wild Wednesday 21/52 Osprey Family

Copyright © 2018 Deborah M. Zajac  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The day after Mother’s Day Gordon of undiscoveredimagesamongstus blog was the navigator for an excursion to see an Osprey nest that is currently inhabited with a family of 4.

We had some great sightings of the Female, Male, and little peeks at the chicks.  The morning was overcast, but during lunch the sun broke through the marine layer giving us some blue sky.

The Male was busy in the morning with chores; bringing in new nesting material.

Osprey Male with Nesting Material

Heading out again…

Opresy leaving the Nest

a peek at the chicks!

Osprey with Chicks in the Nest

Osprey and Chicks_DMZ7350

Osprey Facts:

COMMON NAME: Osprey

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Pandion haliaetus

TYPE: Birds

DIET: Carnivores

AVERAGE LIFE SPAN IN THE WILD: 30 years

SIZE: Body, 21 to 23 in; wingspan, 5 to 6 ft

WEIGHT: 3.1 to 4.4 lbs

They are fantastic fishers. Their diet is 99% fish, so you’ll find them on rivers, lakes, ponds and coastal waterways around the world.

Ospreys hunt by diving to the water’s surface from some 30 to 100 feet up. They have gripping pads on their feet to help them pluck fish from the water with their curved claws and carry them for great distances. In flight, ospreys will orient the fish headfirst to ease wind resistance.~https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/birds/o/osprey/

I didn’t get to see the aerial show Gordon and our friend Dan saw on Saturday, but I can’t complain. It was amazing see these fly to and from the nest, and get a bonus peek at the chicks.

We saw some other birds too, but I’ll save those for a rainy day. 🙂

He-Man was seated on a jury today so, I’ll be missing him for the next few days.  Funny that. When he first started telecommuting I wasn’t happy about it. Having him in my space all day; UGH!  I’ve had to adjust. It’s been a few years now and I’ve grown to appreciate him being here.

The Guinea Pig; Box, is settling in and he and Diva Dog are getting used to each other.  Box and she are communicating I think.  Diva Dog chuffs, and wags her tail like crazy when she’s inspecting Box, and his habitat, and Box chirps, and whistles and is really excited to see her after her walks.

Box is standing still in his habitat when I put my hand in to pet him now, so we’re making progress too. I’ll get some images of him to share soon.  He’s a cute little calico Guinea pig.

I hope your week is going well!

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm @500mm| f/8| ISO 800| SanDisk Digital Film

more to come…

 

 

Wild Wednesday 20/52 Deep Greens and Blues are the Colors I Choose

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

On Saturday I went birding locally in the morning hoping to see a Lazuli Bunting. They’re only here in the Spring and I heard they were spotted in a place I’d seen one four years ago.  It was a stellar morning of birding! Not only did I get a brief look at the Lazuli Bunting, but I also saw lots of Violet-green Swallows. 🙂

Both birds have amazing colors.

Lazuli Bunting Male-  He’s song bird.

Lazuli Bunting

Violet-green Swallow Male

Violet-green Swallow

…and I got the “look” from a White-tailed Kite while she was hunting. You know how much I like them. My favorite of the Birds of Prey.  I like to think she was wishing me a Happy Birthday. 🙂

White-tailed Kite

I had a birdy long week-end that included some hiking/walking . Saturday I hiked just a smidge over a mile half of it was uphill and the beginning was steep.  Monday I hiked a bit over 2 miles, and Tuesday afternoon I hiked just over 4 miles.  He-Man and I hiked a trail we hadn’t hiked in a couple of years. It was good to get out and really stretch our legs.  Mind you, I feel so out of shape since having the flu and not doing much hiking since. I’m glad I made the loop up and down! I had doubts about being able to make it up to the second trail-head to make the loop. A couple of spots are steep. On two of the hikes I had some elevation gain which I like.  I like uphill for the first leg…more payoff for the exertion, and the reward is the downhill on the way back.  However, what I find is that there is uphill on both ends! I’m usually tired by the time I reach the upper elevation, and it’s work to get up those uphills on the way back.  I’m always so thankful I completed the hike, and if I carried my Garmin tracker seeing the stats always makes those uphills on the way back more rewarding.  I was tired and needed some extra Yoga stretches to ward off being really sore Wednesday, but I kept thinking “maybe I’ll get my groove back, and hike a couple times a week again.”

One can hope! 🙂

I hope you all are having a good week!

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm| San Disk Digital Film| PS CC 2018

more to come…